Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 18

Postcards from Camp by Simms Taback
Read to 4th & 5th Grades
Targeted Skills: Make Inferences and Discuss Author's Purpose

As we prepare for Bluebonnet voting, it was time to share this fabulous book with 4th & 5th grade. (I have already shared it with 3rd grade, and 6th grade will read it in the classroom this week). Even after reading it 9 times this week, I still LOVE it. There is SO MUCH depth here, but I have to remember that even though I'm coming at it for about the 14th time, when I share it with a class, it is the FIRST time for them to hear it, so I have to keep that in mind. Each class still pointed out something new that I had not realized before. I just love it when that happens!

This is a perfect book for discussing author's purpose. I think students sometimes confuse their feelings as a reader with the author's intended purpose. For example, some students think that an author's purpose was to entertain because they liked a book, but really the purpose might have been to inform; an author's purpose can be to inform while the reader is still entertained. Each postcard in this book has a different purpose, so it is perfect for comparing the differences and then pointing out the text evidence to support that purpose. I think we need to point out text evidence to support the purpose--not just let the kids go off their feelings as a reader.

I put this lesson on our Bluebonnet blog for the 6th grade teachers to do with their classes. Even though I love this book, I had to pass it on to the teachers to read because I was getting a little weary of it this week. You can click here to see the lesson.

Our 5th grade bilingual class had a great time with this book. Their fabulous teacher extended the lesson into the classroom (on her own, with no prompting from me--love that!) and had the kids write a postcard to me about what they liked about the book. She gave them to me, and needless to say, they made my librarian heart sing. These will definitely be going into my "Happy File." Here are few:

Lesson Frame: 

Thunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators by Jim Arnosky
Read to 3rd Grade
Targeted Skills: Author's Purpose; Note Taking Skills 

This is the final Bluebonnet book that I chose to share with 3rd grade. I chose Thunder Birds instead of Ruth and the Green Book because the curriculum calls for research to begin next week, so I thought this would be a good practice for them in note taking.  Even though the focus for the week was procedural text, I still found a way to connect the lesson even though this is informative.

First, students folded a piece of colored paper in a tri-fold and then folded it in half, making six squares. (Side note: I am the foldable queen. When I was in the classroom, my high school students called my class "Origami.")  This was used to take their notes, and I pointed out that I was giving them directions for how to do something, therefore, this was a procedure. I then read the book to them and we wrote down one interesting fact from each section. The life-size fold-out illustrations were a HUGE hit, causing lots of "COOL!" comments from the kids. I then asked them what the author's purpose was, which they all agreed it was to inform, so this is an informative text rather than a procedural one. We discussed what the difference between the two are. I also pointed out that even though we were entertained by the illustrations, that was not the soul propose of the book.

I passed this book on to 4th grade to read during Week 19. You can click here to see the complete lesson on our Bluebonnet blog.

The notes that I used to model during the lesson 
Lesson Frame:

Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Read to 2nd Grade
Targeted Skills: Characteristics of a Fable; Compare a Fable to a Legend

Our primary grades are continuing their genre study of fiction, so they concentrated on fables this week. We reviewed the characteristics of a fable, and then I shared Pinkney's breath-taking wordless picture book with them. They were familiar with the story, so it was a good way to compare the different versions. We then discussed how a fable is different from a legend, which was the focus for last week.

Lesson Frame: 

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty and Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries by David Levinthal and John Nickle 
Read to 1st Grade
Targeted Skills: Elements of Fairy Tales

I repeated the lesson that I did with Kindergarten last week. You can click here to read more.

The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney
Read to Kinder
Targeted Skills: Elements of a Folk Tale; Compare Folk Tales to Fairy Tales 

We discussed the elements of a folk tale before reading The Little Red Hen. We then compared how a folk tale is different from a fairy tale by focusing on the elements outlined in the curriculum.

Lesson Frame: 

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